Monday, September 13, 2010

Chinatown on 11th Sept 2010

It's another Saturday bursting to the brim with activities in church for Little H. In order to show our support for the good work that she is doing, first as a pianist and then as a violist in 2 different sessions, we had lunch in the corner coffee shop opposite SMU before all of us set off for our little busy schedules.

12.45 pm, we hopped up the NE train bound for Harbourfront. 2 stops down, the colors, sounds and smells of People's Park side of Chinatown MRT station greeted and excited me to no end. This part of the trip is always the climax to me. How I wish to bask in the buzz, stuff myself with all the snacks starting from the ice-cream stall to the fish balls, bug all the money changers with queries and enjoy the energetic efforts of street hawkers selling innovative products that solves all kinds of problems.

Walking down towards the old police station at EutongSen Road, we made our way towards Chinatown Food Center via the overhead bridge. The entire Chinatown is gearing up to celebrate mooncake festival . Fortunately, rationality prevailed and I stopped myself from buying the lanterns.

At level 1 of Chinatown food center, we darted among clothing stores punctuated with shoe shops towards the square where old folks hang out and hang up their birds. We were hard pressed to see these regular visitors though because it was a scorching 34 C.

Suppressing the impulse to hop over to LiangChen to squirrel some tarts and pies, we join the throng of tourists and headed towards the heritage center on our left. A burgeoning camera toting tourist crowd and us fought for what little shade there was on the pedestrian only walkway lined with kitschy tourist memorabilia. Scores of pashima scarves abound in the shops and after fingering so many $10 pashima with suspicion, I decided to forego such a bargain.

At DeRenXin medical hall facing North Bridge Road, we saw the traffic police closing the entire road in preparation for the evening's Mooncake Festival Road Show. In response to the shop keeper's live narration of the action unfolding before us, I bought a pack of XiaGuCao. This will make a 'cooling drink' to take away the heat in our near wilted bodies.

At this stage, the sun was strangling the very breathe out of us. We trooped over to Chinatown Point for ice cream at Swensons. At 3.30pm, refreshed and sufficiently chilled by the aircon, we crossed the road over to OG. By now, rehearsal for the night is in full steam.

Using the connecting pedestrian bridge linking OG to People's Park Center, we encountered a different kind of frenzy. Shoppers looked for clothing, travel and shoe bargains from the top level to the ground floor. I saw a black super-lite back pack selling at $ 160 which sent my head spinning. What audacity ! The boss expecting a bargaining session was disappointed. I scoot.

Back to Chinatown MRT over at People's Park, I did my first purchase of the day. The standalone cake shop under the overhead bridge was selling all the things I love. I caved in and netted a bag of cakes, bread, buns.

Skirting around People's Park and its myriad of hawker stalls, we made our way towards Chin Swee Road via upper Cross Street, taking in the smells of the many medical halls along the way.

We cross the junction at Chin Swee and Clemenceau Road and walked pass Robertson Quay towards UE Square. Its aircon and washroom facilties was a merciful close to the end of a very hot afternoon. On level 2 , we ogled at the little violin cases lying around Wolfgang Music School.

Past the traffic junction at Liang Court along Clemenceau, banners of a free sculpture exhibition at Teochew Building beckoned us. We were 1 week too early for the free show. Not in single soul was around.

The final couple of hundred meters with Singapore Shopping Center at our right was a non event. This is the quietest part of our Saturday walkabout. Beyond Parkmall junction, we sought shelter in the aircon comfort of the Dhoby Ghaut underground mall.

The church, our destination greeted us at the other end of the mrt cum mall. Now partially shaded by the shade of Angsana trees, the roof portion of the main sanctuary glistened with the leftover gold of a late afternoon sun.

5.15 pm had never felt so wonderful before.

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